Gig Economy
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Everyone knows that data is an important asset for businesses. However, the business world is in a state of flux in a few different ways. One such change is the “gig economy.” We have read about Gig Economy in our previous article.
This term describes a paradigm shift in the way that we staff our businesses; it represents a shift away from a long-term, stable, full-time, employee-driven workforce toward a more dynamic one that relies heavily on short-term contractors or independent workers.

Gig Economy Data

How does this model impact data governance?

It’s a good question, and the answer might not be what you expect. Data is important; so is governance. In the gig economy, the human power that drives critical business activities is more fluid than under traditional staffing models. Each individual participant is not fungible. Thus,  some clearly perform better than others.  So, there is typically a mechanism to select for top performers and increase engagement with them. This should be while decreasing engagement with those on the opposite end of the performance spectrum.

One might think, based on this, that the role of data becomes more fluid and transient in line with the staffing model. This is not the case. Instead, data increases in importance. The data about participants in a given ecosystem allows us to rapidly assign and transition tasks from resource to resource.  It also allows us to measure how each participant performs. Also, it drives how businesses engage with their ecosystem. After that, it decides how entities within that ecosystem interact with each other. It enforces the framework within which those players operate. Quite literally, it is what makes everything work.

Approach to Data governance

This means that the approach that we have to governing data becomes more critical as well. Can you imagine a ride-sharing application where the data was unreliable? If we didn’t know exactly where passengers needed to be picked up or dropped off? Was there was a way to tell who were reliable drivers or passengers? If we couldn’t keep track of where we went or how much it cost?Of course not, right? This means that establishing reliable, resilient and holistic governance processes for data becomes a success factor for organisations in the gig economy. It is both differentiator and competitive advantage.

To safeguard competitive advantage, technology governance is about delivering value to stakeholders. It means establishing structures to maximize stakeholder value. Also, to reduce the risk equation and “optimise” it.

In the case of data, the situation is no different. Data governance means that we have systematic mechanisms to ensure we’re getting the most value from the data available. It entails that we understand the risks that could arise from how we handle, store, or transmit it.


How does one accomplish that?

It starts with a systematic understanding of :

What are your goals ?

What your stakeholders want and need?

How can data help them accomplish those things?

It also means establishing a process to manage and measure your risk, and a mechanism for making sure that those risks are tracked. Frameworks and standards, such as COBIT 5, that focus on governance can help you get there, but the road starts by recognising the power of data. Next step is establishing the organisational will to take action to address it systematically and holistically. The final nail is becoming educated about the options available to you to help.

Boards and c-suite leaders should take the lead in establishing this is an organisational priority. Data governance is important and becoming more so as organizations become increasingly reliant on data.  But, it’s even more important in the gig economy. For those firms, data is like gasoline for an automobile engine: it’s what makes everything move, and it’s the single most important resource available to them. As such, it’s too important to leave to chance.

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